I like the people in Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Goa. There are some good and genuine people in the local political unit but I am not a fan of Arvind Kejriwal. His political agenda seems self-centred. I disliked him more after his persistent inconsistency in handling Covid-19 in Delhi and the usage of a health crisis to plaster his face over every television channel in India. In my opinion, he could have saved more lives and not resort to political drama over the health crisis. In fact, I had openly mentioned my dislike to a friend of mine in the AAP central leadership looking at Goa affairs. I told him, “AAP Goa can work, Kejriwal will not work.” If the AAP assumes that the ‘I am Super CM’ Kejriwal will sell in Goa, then their reading on the state is myopic and based on half-knowledge, especially regarding the nature of the people of Goa.
Goa is a state, where its people were ruthless and unkind to the late Manohar Parrikar. He was one politician who genuinely had a vision for Goa. I remember the vicious attacks by some spineless political vermins that relentlessly attacked him, even as he fought for his life while doing his duty to the people of Goa and India. A Catholic priest took to liberty to shout out from the pulpit in a Church that “Manohar Parrikar was cursed by the people of Goa that’s why he suffered and died.”
When Congress faltered in governance, the people of Goa decimated them in the Assembly Elections 2012. When BJP, first led by Manohar Parrikar and then by Laxmikant Parsekar faltered in governance during 2012 to 2017, BJP was reduced to a minority in the Assembly Elections 2017. Of course, through political machinations, BJP retained power and further strengthened its position by inducting 10 Congress MLAs. I disagreed with that damning move but that’s politics.
In Goa today, you do not have the BJP in ideology, you have the BJP because 17 MLAs had been Congress MLAs at some point of time in their political careers, not too far back in time. Not all of them are beacons of virtue for BJP to have inducted them. One is accused of raping a minor girl.
There is growing angst in some constituencies against the BJP. There is absolutely no hope for Congress in Goa as it continues to pander to the old political horses that have become wooden rocking horses; they give Congress a feeling that it is galloping in the state but in reality, it is getting nowhere. The problem with Congress is that even with their five MLAs, each would be aspiring to be the Chief Minister of Goa. That is essentially the problem of Congress in Goa: lack of selfless leadership to build the political party.
The new change in AAP Goa is focused on recruiting disgruntled leaders in both Congress and BJP to create a mark for itself in the state. Its previous strategy under Elvis Gomes focused on the activists’ style of politics. That will never work in Goa. Activists are good at making noise, not winning elections. Winning elections is about building public perception and managing electoral numbers. The number of voters per constituency in Goa is less, managing electoral numbers is a major challenge and an art that few have perfected.
AAP Goa has the potential to make a difference as there is a vacuum in the state as some people are disillusioned with both Congress and BJP, and the regional parties have not yet flexed their muscle across the state convincingly, they have strengths in few pockets. But if AAP Goa brings the Delhi brand of politics to Goa then it will bite the dust here.
AAP Goa may not have the potential to get a majority in the state but they can bag a seat or two if they get the electoral arithmetic right and do not stray towards becoming a drama party in the state. Unfortunately, for Kejriwal, old habits die hard, thinking Goans to be like Delhiites, that will jump for freebies is the error that he has made on his visit to Goa this time. He has announced free electricity, good schools, and Mohalla clinics.
Unfortunately, he has not understood that Goa is a state where the per-capita income is high. People are not short of money or shy of spending. We do have good schools and a decent healthcare system that has been spruced up; of course, it can get a lot better. The failure to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Delhi exposed the poor healthcare infrastructure that Kejriwal tomtoms about in India and globally.
Goans want a future and not freebies. Kejriwal, through these antics, is not catering to Goans but the non-Goan migrant population that is growing in Goa. For them, freebies will work. I remember a story last year during the pandemic when the Goa government under the BJP was given free kilos of rice to Goans with a ration card under some welfare scheme, some people were taking the rice and selling it to their friends who did not have a ration card. That’s the true nature of a Goan, they are enterprising. Giving them something free will make no difference to their lives. In fact, it was amusing seeing Pratima Coutinho, a former Congress leader, now in AAP, (which in my opinion was a good decision because in Congress she would get nowhere) distributing freebies in a bag to a lady living in a posh bungalow with a car and bike. That’s not the poverty of the state. That’s the inherent nature of Goans, they do not say no to a gift.
AAP Goa has read the people of Goa wrong. If the party truly wants to bring a change in the state, stop selling Kejriwal to Goans, Goans do not care about leaders from Delhi. Let me say this bluntly, even Narendra Modi’s name is not good enough to win elections in Goa. If his name could win an election in the state, then the party should have won both North Goa and South Goa Parliamentary seats. People from Goa like Modi as PM but that is not sufficient to win Assembly elections. Manohar Parrikar was Defence Minister of India and former Chief Minister of Goa, yet in 2017, BJP did not get a majority.
Delhi stamp does not impress Goans. The moot point is what can you do for the people of Goa. They think differently. They have understood politics, know their power centres but most importantly they know how to play the politicians.
AAP is talking about stopping corruption. Congress brought new faces to supposedly stop corruption. The new faces walked straight into BJP and made a mockery of democracy. That’s the penetration of corruption in Goa. Corruption is a card that is beaten to death. Goans want Goa to regain its true identity in India and globally. They want a future.
The people of Goa are young, vibrant, and futuristic. They want an opportunity to build Goa and make it competitive with the rest of the world, not only India. They want a government to create entrepreneurial opportunities for them. They want a government to bring better companies with job opportunities to the state. They want sustainable tourism development that focuses on the culture, heritage, and content life of the Goans. They do not want the maddening crowd coming to Goa thinking it is Thailand. Young Goa has an aspiration. This aspiration takes the most educated and talented Goans out of the state. They want a better life and if they can get it in Goa, they would never leave the state. Goans living outside of Goa and India want to come back to their home but where are the opportunities to grow and compete with the benefits one gets in other states in India or globally.
Political parties that can fulfill the aspirations of the people of Goa with a roadmap on the socio-economic future of the state coupled with sustainable development and futuristic growth ideas will create a mark in Goa in the forthcoming elections. Goans will take your freebies and vote for the political individual or party that focuses on the growth of Goa. Goans are not slaves to freebies. They do not want non-Goans eroding the inherent culture of its people by turning it into Bangkok or Shanghai. Goa does not want to become a Mumbai or a Shanghai. Goa wants to remain — Goa.
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ICDMA FOUNDER TO INTRODUCE AI PLATFORM FOR IDENTIFYING AND MITIGATING DIGITAL RISKS
ICDMA is a provider of IT services such as Cyber Forensics, IT Audit, IT Risk Evaluation, and Digital Security. In recent years, it has become a tried-and-true standard for businesses looking to defend their brands, enterprises, and reputations from crippling cyber attacks. They develop and deploy information security platforms and services, both standard and personalised, to protect, evaluate, and respond to cyber threats such as security breaches that occur in your systems and networks. The services they provide include Application and Web Development, Graphic Design, Security Audits, Cyber Security Services, Vulnerability Assessments, Fraud Risk Management, and IT Consultancy.
In addition, the firm achieved awards for being the best Cyber Forensics firm preventing businesses from external threats. A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for the security of an organisation, business, or government agency from cyber threats. Their primary role is to analyse any possible threat that might occur through or to your system and come up with plausible and practical solutions to protect you.
Being a cyber security expert and analyst, Dheeraj Kumar has years of experience and stays up-to-date with the current crimes and security trends. He believes that like many other professions, this is a never-ending learning field. They monitor your networks and then analyse them to find common threat patterns or trends. Further, they design software that suits the needs of the problem at hand and ensures that these measures are maintained properly. If, in any case, they encounter a new problem, they utilise their years of experience and knowledge to produce a unique solution.
Witnessing the increased cyber threats, Cybersecurity analyst Dheeraj advises people to use the Internet wisely and productively. Dheeraj is currently working on an Al-driven platform for identifying and mitigating digital risks and counteracting brand impersonation attacks with the company’s patented technologies at its core. Dheeraj’s experience in threat hunting and cyber intelligence has been fused into an ecosystem of highly sophisticated software and hardware solutions designed to monitor, identify, and prevent cyberattacks.
A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for the security of an organisation, business or government agency from cyber threats. Their primary role is to analyse any possible threat that might occur through or to your system and come up with plausible solutions.
EXPO 2020 A GLOBAL PLATFORM TO HIGHLIGHT ACHIEVEMENTS OF SPACE SECTOR: EMM PROJECT MANAGER
The six-month Expo 2020 Dubai is a crucial window for the participating countries to present their accomplishments across different sectors, and the space sector is one of them. The event will shed light on the development of this sector around the world, emphasising its importance for humans in particular and the planet in general.
Expo 2020 has devoted a full week to space, from 17 to 23 October, during which a dialogue session will be held with Emirati astronauts along with entertainment, art and science activities. Also, information related to space sciences will be disseminated among other related space activities. In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Omran Sharaf, Project Manager of Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), said, “This year, the UAE has achieved milestone accomplishments in the space sector by its arrival to Mars, and before that, it had played a key role in stimulating this sector besides the science and technology sectors.”
On the role of Expo 2020 Dubai as a prominent global platform to highlight the country’s achievements in the national space sector, Al Sharaf pointed out that Expo is not only a global event to showcase the cultures of other countries, but rather a platform for presenting scientific, technical and cultural achievements around the world.
He added that one of the reasons for the quick establishment of the space sector in the country “is because this sector depends on international cooperation, and the UAE did not consider its space programme as a race with other countries, but viewed it as an opportunity to cooperate with different nations, which contributed to activating the role of the sector and speeding its development, thus placing the UAE at the forefront of countries in this sector.”
Regarding the most nationally prominent projects in the space sector during the current period, Sharaf said, “The space sector is going through a very important and sensitive stage today, as the UAE has previously invested through the ‘Hope Probe’ project and other related projects to attract knowledge to the country from abroad and build on the capabilities of Emirati youth through knowledge transfer programmes.”
“Today, after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, announced the upcoming mission, which is a new space programme to explore planet Venus and seven other [asteroids] in the solar system, the focus will be on transferring knowledge from the UAE space sector to the private sector to create a stimulating environment and support the science and technology sector in the country, and at the same time serve the UAE’s economy is facing various challenges, including water resources and food resources, among others,” he added.
When asked regarding the sector’s participation in the Space Week at Expo 2020, Sharaf said that the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and the various specialised authorities have a great role in Expo. As for Space Week, there are various participations, including lectures, seminars, or receiving various delegations to discuss cooperation in the space sector.
“This is a great opportunity for countries to work together, and we, as the Emirati space sector, have decided to take advantage of this opportunity at Expo to build and strengthen these relations, and it will be the beginning of greater cooperation and ambitious projects across the world and the region.”
IIT KANPUR STUDY EXPLAINS THE SUCCESS OF COVID-19 CONTROL MODEL OF UTTAR PRADESH
The information has been collated and reviewed by the Social and Political Research Foundation, a policy think tank based in New Delhi, aimed at making public policy research holistic, accessible, and evidence-based.
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the health system across India. Most states struggled to prevent the surge in cases and ensure adequate supply as the virus created a situation of upheaval. However, a recent study led by Padma Shri Awardee Prof. Manindra Agrawal of IIT-Kanpur elaborates that with careful planning, multiple strategies and close monitoring Uttar Pradesh’s Covid-19 response model turned out to be more effective in comparison with many other states.
TABLE 1: NTPR DURING THE SECOND WAVE
The data points out that the daily case count was brought down to just 1,497 on 31 May after the peak of 38,000 was recorded on 24 April. It can be noted that the reduction in numbers happened quite fast in the state as compared with many other ones, for example, Maharashtra and Kerala, which supports the study’s arguments.
Beginning with the foremost concern of reducing the spread, the UP model followed the Test, Trace, Treat, Tackle (TTTT) approach. Under the strategy, the TTTT teams were instated in rural UP to conduct door to door testing, enabling early detection and ensuring isolation and treatment. These TTTT teams covered around 97,941 villages. Niti Aayog and WHO also lauded the efforts of the state in conducting a mammoth house-to-house testing and tracing drive, supported by micro-planning and concurrent follow-ups. As highlighted by the IIT-Kanpur study, other measures of the state involved capacity building through intensive training on all major aspects of Covid-19, provision of infrastructures like ICU beds, ventilators, and creation of safety nets and incentives via state and central funding schemes (PMJJBY, PMSBY, AKBY, etc.).
While preventing the surge in cases was one aspect of the model, the government also managed the high demand crisis of oxygen resounding throughout the nation then. To tackle the surge in demand the government set up an oxygen monitoring system to track oxygen tankers and rolled out a stringent oxygen audit which saved around 30 MT of oxygen per day. Also, the state’s strategy to airlift empty tankers with the help of IAF lessened the turnaround time saving 10 hours. Apart from ensuring these, the model also addressed the concerns regarding the livelihood of the people. With the commitment to save the lives and livelihoods of people, the UP government did not resort to strict lockdowns and opted for partial curfews to break the Covid-19 chain. And, adapting to the situation of the pandemic, the government supplied policies for ease of mobility (separate buses and trains for migrant workers), employability (DBT 1000 to migrants) and sustenance (cash transfers to marginalised sections). The study also states that such measures helped in keeping the unemployment rate below the national average as depicted in the graph below.
Formulated on the four essential pillars of protection of livelihood, optimisation of economy, facilitation of healthcare services and restriction of virus spread, it has been pointed through the study that the UP Covid-19 model has created a benchmark. The study then draws a comparison among the states based on the Normalised Test Positivity Rate (NTPR) which is the ratio of Test Positivity Ratio and percentage of active cases. It shows that the strategy of the UP model was to aggressively change the pandemic which helped in the control.
Furthermore, the study also found that the timing of the containment measures was near-optimal, which in any other situation could have caused a peak of more than 70,000 daily cases as shown in the graph below.
Nonetheless, the second wave has dealt a heavy blow to not just India’s but globally existing health infrastructure, unveiling a systemic failure that led many to conclude that no model or strategy is perfect. This points towards a large scope of improvement for all state administrations and governing bodies.
The information has been collated and reviewed by the Social and Political Research Foundation, a policy think tank based in New Delhi, aimed at making public policy research holistic, accessible, and evidence-based.
LIFE SKILLS COLLABORATIVE LAUNCHED TO CHAMPION SKILLS FOR INDIA’S YOUTH
Eighteen organisations have come together to announce the launch of the Life Skills Collaborative (LSC) with the aim to support government agencies and education institutions by building a life skills platform that can aid in the transformation of India’s learning ecosystem. In the first phase, the LSC will work in tandem with state governments across Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, and Mizoram to bring contextual, social and cultural inputs to the development of life skills among the young people of India.
The Collaborative comprises organisations with diverse and global expertise in education, skill development, health and gender with a commitment to collaborate in deepening the understanding of life skills, designing learning tools that nurture life skills, and developing context-relevant assessments to measure progress, share learnings and inform system change India. The current collaborators include Breakthrough, Centre for Science of Student Learning, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Dream A Dream, Echidna Giving, Gnothi Seauton, ICRW, Kaivalya Education Foundation, Magic Bus, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Omidyar Network India, Porticus, Pratham, Quest Alliance, Room To Read, Sattva Consulting, Shantilal Muttha Foundation and The Teacher Foundation. Speaking about the launch, Vishal Talreja, an LSC Collaborator and Co-founder of Dream A Dream, said, “One in three children in India live in extreme poverty and have stunted and/or wasted growth. Children from vulnerable backgrounds are exposed to a combination of adverse experiences causing an irrefutable impact on their physical and mental health. Empathy-based transformative pedagogy, experiential learning, and mentoring can help young people immensely.”
The Life Skills Collaborative will focus on three core areas:
1. Voices, a nationwide engagement with youth, parents, and teachers to capture their voices and translate them to insights that can drive the integration of life skills within public education systems.
2. Glossary, a set of definitions that serves as the vocabulary to discuss life skills in India and establish the foundation for discussing and aligning on outcomes, designing assessments across community, practitioners, and government.
3. Assessments, will focus on creation, establishment, and dissemination of an assessment repository for adolescents, teachers, and the system. At the adolescent level, this will assess student’s capacities and strengths in the age groups 11-14 years and 15-18 years; at the teacher level, it will assess the ability of the teacher to foster life skills in an adolescent; at the system level, it will assess the readiness of the system to deliver life skills.
Rathish Balakrishnan, an LSC Collaborator and Co-founder and Managing Partner at Sattva Consulting, said, “Young people often struggle to access education and employment opportunities, limiting their engagement in society and stunting their potential to live a full life. Equipping them with life skills can change this immensely. While there is a lot of interest in life skills, there is a lack of a common vocabulary and effective assessments, which limits its potential. By building credible and system-ready public goods, the Life Skills Collaborative can accelerate the effective adoption of life skills across the ecosystem.”
In recent times, the need for developing stronger life skills has become more acute. Focusing on building life skills in the next generation is imperative in enabling them to handle different situations capably. In a country like India, where a vast majority of the population is young, life skill development enables young people to direct and manage their lives positively.
Geeta Goel, an LSC Collaborator and Country Director, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF, India), added, “The Life Skills Collaborative is an innovative attempt to solve a wicked problem – the development of life skills among the young people of India. To achieve this goal, it is essential to support organisations, institutions and government agencies in building a more inclusive learning environment suited towards promoting life skills.”
RED FM launches World Cup campaign ‘Totka Chalao India Ko Jeetao’
93.5 RED FM has kick-started its World Cup campaign ‘Totka Chalao, India ko Jeetao’. Capturing the passion and craze of fans, RED FM will celebrate the ‘totkas’ and will have RJs follow some of these tricks shared by listeners as part of the campaign.
Witness the best of entertainment with ‘Nand Kishore Bairagi’ aka RJ Kisna taking a spin on the ‘totkas’ in his unique style. The campaign will also have Bauaa aka RJ Raunac calling up opponent teams as part of his prank calls series. Keeping the passion of the World Cup alive, RED FM will also launch the anthem, ‘Totka Wala Gana’ capturing the craze of cricket fans across the country. Speaking on the campaign, Nisha Narayanan, Director & COO, RED FM and Magic FM, said, “Cricket generates a kind of excitement that cuts across all sections of the society in India. Fans have been eagerly waiting for the mega tournament to start after the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to all sporting activities. Over the years, cricket has united fans and radio has been a crucial part in bringing them together. There’s no denying that luck and superstitions go hand in hand with a cricket fan and this year we are bringing some of those practices the fans have subconsciously picked up over the years and now cannot let go. Our campaign, ‘Totka Chalao, India ko Jeetao’ will highlight some of the crazy ‘totkas’ that cricket fans follow across the country. We hope that you will share your favourite ‘totkas’ with us and cheer for team India with RED FM.”
MICHAEL KORS TO LAUNCH MK MY WAY IN-STORE POP-UPS THROUGHOUT INDIA
Michael Kors has announced the launch of an exciting new pop-up store activation throughout India to celebrate MK My Way—the popular interactive experience that immerses customers in the luxe world of Michael Kors and lets them customise their Signature logo print handbags with their initials.
The MK My Way activation will take place in stores with a colourful pop-up kiosk. Equal parts elevated and high-energy, the pop-up’s countertop and facade are splashed with metallic hues and punctuated by oversized, graphic takes on the brand’s signature print. After selecting their Signature print handbag, customers have the chance to have their bags hand-painted by Bangalore-based artist and illustrator Srishti Guptaroy (@srillustrator) with either their English/Hindi initials or with one of four unique motifs designed specifically for Diwali.
As an extension of the in-store program, the motifs will also be made into gify stickers available for all Instagram users. Supplies are provided by Angelus Paints, a California paint company and world leader in luxury customisation. To celebrate the launch, the brand has also created a digital campaign starring Bollywood actress Janhvi Kapoor (@janhvikapoor).
The pop-up store activations will take place in several cities throughout India, including:
Jio World Drive in Mumbai (from 8 to 31 October)
DLF Emporio in Delhi (from 11 to 31 October)
UB City in Bangalore (from 23 to 30 October)
Tatacliq Luxury (online) (from 18 to 31 October)
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